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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

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CH. xxm    CHURCH OF S. SAVIOUR IN THE CHORA         289
The settlement of the approximate date of the foundation of the church depends, ultimately,, upon the meaning to be attached to the term Chora (X/>a). There are some writers who incline to the idea that in this connection that term was employed from the first in a mystical sense, to denote the attribute of Christ as the sphere of man's highest life ; and there can be no doubt that the word was used in that sense in the fourteenth century. That is unquestionably its meaning in the legends inscribed on mosaics which adorn the walls of the building.
fC"XC                                     MHP   6Y
H X&PA                            H XQPA TOY
TON ZS2NTON                         AXQPHTOY
And .it is in that sense that the term is employed by Cantacuzene1 and Phrantzes.2 On this view the description of the church as c in the Chora ' throws no light on the date of the church's foundation. Other authorities/ however, maintain that the term Chora was originally associated with the church in the obvious topographical signification of the word, to denote territory outside the city limits, and that its religious reference came into vogue only when changes in the boundaries of Constantinople made the literal meaning of Chora no longer applicable. According to this opinion the church was, therefore, founded while its site lay beyond the city walls, and consequently before the year 413, after which the site was included within the capital by the erection of the Theodosian wall.
Hence, the phrase cin the Chora' had the same signification as the style c in the fields' which is attached to the church of S. Martin in London, or the style fuore k mura which belongs to the basilica of S. Paul and other churches beyond the walls of Rome to this day.
It is certainly in this topographical sense that the term Chora is understood by the Byzantine writers in whose works it first appears. That is how the term is used by Simeon Metaphrastes4 in his description of
1 Vol. iii.p. 172.                                   2 P. 36.
3 Paspates, p. 326.                                 4 Synax., Sept. 4,
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